Mining group Anglo American reported a 45% rise in full-year profits on Thursday thanks to rising commodity prices, but some metrics missed analysts' forecasts and the shares fell.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 45% to $8.8bn (£6.3bn), benefiting from strong bulk commodity and copper prices, and improved productivity.
The South Africa-focused mining group delivered attributable free cash flow of $4.9bn, a 93% increase on 2016, helping the company reduce net debt by 47% to $4.5bn.
Full-year financial highlights
- Profit attributable to equity shareholders doubled to $3.2bn
- Underlying earnings rose 48% to $3.27bn
- Underlying earnings per share doubled to $2.48
- Target-beating cost and volume improvements of $1.1bn
- Total dividend payable for 2017 of $1.02 per share
Anglo said improving global macro-economic conditions remained supportive of demand growth in 2018 and that it was targeting an additional $3bn-$4bn annual run-rate improvement by 2022 from production volumes, productivity improvements and cost reductions.
Mark Cutifani, chief executive (above), said: "These strong financial results benefit from transformed productivities and efficiencies across our business - including a 28% productivity improvement in 2017 alone - together with our portfolio upgrading and improved prices for many of our products.
"While we have already driven a material operational turnaround, we believe there is significant additional upside within the business both through further operating gains and from selected organic growth options."
The shares, which fell the furthest during the commodity slump of 2015-16, have gained 15% so far this year. On Thursday, however, they were down 4.06% to £17.24.
Picture courtesy of Anglo American